Frequently Asked Questions
- Not being able to resolve conflict
- Hurting each other’s feelings on purpose
- Differing values
- No connection
- Lack of quality time together
- Infidelity or cheating
- Blaming each other
- Spending habits
- Sex and intimacy expectations
- Trust issues
Yes! You don’t need to have a problem to go to counseling. Many couples just want to strengthen their relationship by getting to know each other better. We explore family of origin (how your family influences your marriage), how to deepen your connection, and ways to communicate better. It’s never a bad thing to invest in your marriage!
Marriage therapy can help in many ways! Here are just a few:
- Better communication skills
- Less arguing
- Resolving conflicts
- Increased trust in your partner
- Deeper intimacy
- Understanding your partner’s view
- Increased respect for one another
- Learn to express your wants and needs in a safe place
Marriage counseling is not advised when there is physical abuse/violence or severe addiction problems impacting the relationship. Referrals can be made to address these situations before attending marriage therapy.
No. If you are in a committed relationship, couples counseling can still be beneficial.
There are many things to consider with this question. Here are a few tips to help make therapy more successful:
- Have realistic expectations. Change takes time and investment. Know that conflict is going to happen and be patient with the process of change. No one has a perfect relationship!
- Address problems as early as possible. Couples typically wait 6 years to seek therapy for a re-occurring issue. Don’t wait that long, it makes change more difficult!
- Marriage therapy is more successful when there is still hope and love in the relationship as well as motivation for change.
- Do your homework! I often assign tasks to be done in between sessions. The couples who do their homework and practice skills outside of the sessions, tend to be more successful and see positive change faster.
Yes. Although it is best when both partners come to therapy, one person can often benefit from couples counseling. Therapy will most likely focus on how to create positive change in the relationship. You can learn how to model new behaviors, take home new communication skills, and discover more about how you influence your relationship. In my experience, one person’s positive changes can influence their partner to want to come to future sessions. I am trained to see a relationship from both sides and help the relationship improve no matter who is in the room.
This depends on what the main issue is in your relationship and what you want to focus on. Some of the areas we might cover are:
- Relationship patterns & boundaries
- Family life
- Sex and intimacy
- Communication styles
- Past trauma or wounds
- Financial issues
The first session is a “get to know you” session. Typically, both partners come to this appointment. I learn about what difficulties you are having and gather information needed to understand your situation.
I will then meet with each partner individually (separate appointments) to gain a better understanding of each viewpoint. The third session is a couples meeting again. I will share the strength and growth areas of your relationship and provide a direction or “game plan.” I will be straightforward and point out what patterns are toxic and what strengths we can use to combat the relationship issues. We will work together to develop goals that fulfill your relationship’s needs.
Couples counseling deals with the problems between the couple. The focus of couples therapy is more on the interaction (process) between the couple rather than just the problem (content). It is important to choose a therapist who is well trained in this specialty rather than a “generalist.” Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) are specifically trained to help couples change their relationship.
The first initial “intake appointment” is typically 90 minutes long. After that, it is up to the client(s) and the therapist to decide what length of time will work best. Many couples like a 90 minute session in order to practice some of the skills they are learning. Other couples and individuals prefer to have a 55 minute session once a week. I offer flexibility and tailor everything to your needs.
Each couple is unique. It really depends on the severity of the problem and how committed the couple is to change. Most couples I have worked with have anywhere from 8 sessions to one year of therapy.